Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015

Little India riot: No action to be taken against bus driver in fatal accident

Published on Feb 11, 2014 1:14 PM
No action will be taken against the bus driver in the fatal accident that sparked the Little India riot last December. -- FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 

The driver of the bus involved in the fatal traffic accident that sparked the Little India riot last December will not be facing any legal action.

A review of available evidence has showed that Mr Lee Kim Huat, who also goes by the alias of Lim Hai Tiong, had not committed any offence leading to the accident, said the Attorney-General's Chambers in a statement on Tuesday.

The Little India riot on December 8, 2013, was sparked off after the private bus that Mr Lee was driving ran over 33-year-old construction worker, Indian national Sakthivel Kumaravelu, along Race Course Road. The driver was arrested the next day and released on bail pending investigations, while video footage from four cameras mounted on the bus was seized.

Mr Sakthivel was asked to disembark from the bus that evening, due to misbehaviour on account of his intoxication. He duly complied, but walked in an unsteady fashion towards Race Course Road. He was later found to have a blood alcohol level of 217mg/100ml of blood, which was close to three times the legal limit of driving.

Video footage showed that he started running after the bus shortly after it moved off, with his right palm against the left side of the moving bus. The act caused him to lose his balance and fall into the path of the moving bus.

During the entire incident, the driver was moving at a speed of about 5.6 to 5.9km/h. He was focusing on avoiding the heavy human traffic near his bus, and negotiating between stationary and moving vehicles along Tekka Lane.

The accident occurred when he was filtering out of Tekka Lane into Race Course Road, while the driver was looking out for oncoming traffic from his right.

As such, he "could not be expected to foresee that the deceased had run after the bus. Nor could the driver have expected that the deceased would fall into the path of the bus," the statement said.